Dodgers Prospects: Quakes Look to Move Into Cal League Finals

The Dodgers have 6 of their top 30 prospects with the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes and the Quakes are having a great season with a 87-53 record. They are currently in the playoffs for the Southern Division Finals against the Lancaster Jethawks, the single A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies. Heading into game 4 the Quakes have a 2-1 lead after a tight 1-0 victory in game 3.

The pitching matchups for game 4 was Max Gamboa for the home team Quakes and Logan Longwith for the Jethawks, both right handers. Five of Gamboa’s last 6 starts have been against the Jethawks so there is a lot of familiarity between each other. Gamboa is much better at home against the Jethawks than are on the road, as the game is in RC. Longwith has not had much success against the Quakes in RC including giving up 5 earned runs in 3.2 innings against the Quakes on August 21.

The lineup for the Quakes:

In the bottom of the first with no score and Cody Thomas on second after a double, Carlos Rincon hit a two run home run to get the scoring started. As a side note, neither Thomas or Rincon are rated in the MiLB top 30 prospects for the Dodgers but that should change in the off season.

In the second inning the Quakes tacked on another run as catcher Steve Berman drove in the third run. Longwith was pulled after 3.2 innings and gave up 3 earned runs as his struggles at RC continued. Gamboa threw 4 shutout innings before getting nicked up for a run in the fifth. He was pulled with two outs in the fifth as he began to lose command. In 4.2 innings he only gave up one earned run.

In the 6th the Quakes’ Jeren Kendall had a one out single, then stole second. He then advanced to third when the throw to second went into centerfield. Kendall then scored on a fielder’s choice from Berman’s second RBI. The Quakes ended up scoring 4 runs in the 6th which made the score 7-1 and they were in good shape. Logan Salow (acquired for Wilmer Font earlier in the year), Ryan Moseley and Jordan Sheffield pitched 4.1 innings of 1 hit and no run relief as the Quakes ended up winning 8-1. Next stop, the California League finals.

Some performances of note:

  • Right fielder Cody Thomas had 3 singles and 1 double with 2 runs and 2 RBI.
  • Designated hitter Carlos Rincon had a single and a 2 run home run.
  • Catcher Steve Berman had 3 his with 2 runs and 2 RBI while handing 4 different pitchers.
  • Relief pitcher Jordan Sheffield faced 3 batters in the 9th and struck out all 3 while throwing 14 strikes out of 16 pitches.
2018 Quakes Celebrate

When I spoke with Manager Drew Saylor about Max Gamboa he was very exited for him as he was a late call up and competed in one of the biggest games he’s thrown in his whole life. He also spoke about Sheffield how his “fastball was real.” He was able to drop in a few breaking balls for strikes that played off the fastball real well. With the first batter he faced he had the batter swinging at a pitch that hit the ground at 55 feet. They were completely overmatched against Sheffield.

This is a team that has had a lot of turnover with many of the pitchers having not started the season with the Quakes. As the Dodgers have been promoting players quickly or traded prospects this causes a lot of players to roll through the Quakes roster. There is a lot for them to be proud of and they will be in either Visalia or Stockton to begin the finals on Tuesday, September 11. On Friday, September 14, the Quakes will be playing game 3 in Ranch Cucamonga. There are tickets available at RC Quakes Tickets. It is the best deal to watch baseball in Southern California and a chance to see players who will be the next stars on the Dodgers in just a few short years.

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